Letting agents in rural areas have had an exceptionally busy start to the year, according to Amanda Wiewiorka, director of Letangus in Forfar.
“After the worst winter for 120 years, many people renting in country areas have had a real fright and have decided to move back into towns,” she said. “They’ve been blocked in behind three foot snow drifts, their cars are unsuitable for farm tracks and they have had to pay a fortune in heating. Now they are thinking about more practical considerations than lovely views and country gardens.”
Every winter she has found that there is some movement from rural to urban properties, but this year the figures are already well up on the seasonal trend because of the unexpectedly harsh conditions.
“The whole criteria for renting in the country is changing because of the past two winters,” she said. “Previously it wouldn’t occur to potential renters to look at a track and consider how easy it would be to drive it in winter.
“It’s been a real shock for them to realise that it isn’t the responsibility of the letting agent or the farmer to clear a path to their door. Some have had to face up the reality of having to leave their car at the end of a track or drive and it’s more than they are prepared to do.”
For Amanda, there’s a shift going on in the lettings market but one she is geared up to cope with as she is confident she has more than enough urban lets to satisfy disenchanted rural refugees.